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How can Sri Lanka build a secure future?


On Tuesday March 7 at 19:30 GMT:
People across Sri Lanka had hoped that by 2023 the worst effects of a crushing economic crisis would subside, after the government reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan.

Instead, they are grappling with the impact of income tax increases, increases in energy prices and austerity measures that the government says must be imposed to satisfy IMF creditors.

As parents struggle to feed their children, thousands of union members have staged strikes to protest the terms of the pending $2.9 billion IMF loan. They defied an executive order from President Ranil Wickremesinghe banning strikes by workers in key economic sectors such as healthcare and transportation.

As people’s economic frustrations grow, so do they worry about threats to local democracy. The government has recently postponed the municipal elections due to take place on March 9 due to a lack of funds to finance them. Opponents say the government feared defeat at the polls, with some activists and opposition party members protests on February 26 in the capital Colombo.

In this episode of The Stream, we look at the ever-increasing pressures facing Sri Lankans and ask what it takes to ensure they have economic stability and security.

In this episode of The Stream we are joined by:
Minelle Fernandez, @AJEnglish
Correspondent, Al Jazeera

Harsha de Silva, @HarshadeSilvaMP
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament

Bhavani Fonseka, @bfonseka
Lawyer, Center for Policy Alternatives

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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